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Original Author: Moore, Todd
Date of Material: 05/23/1996

Subjects(s):
Schools
Traffic--Laws and regulations

Placing Flashing Lights in School Zones

Reviewed Date: 06/09/2021
Summary:
MTAS was asked whether the city was responsible for placing flashing lights in the school zones located within the city on state controlled access highways.


May 23, 1996

You asked whether the city was responsible for placing flashing lights in the school zones located within the city on state controlled access highways. The answer is no.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-152 provides that most cities (including yours) may establish special speed limits "upon any highway ... or public road within their jurisdiction" except:

at school entrances and exits to and from controlled access highways on the system of state highways, which is adjacent to school grounds that are devoted primarily to normal school day activity. ... The department of transportation has the authority to establish such special speed limits at school entrances and exits to and from controlled access highways on the system of state highways. Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-152.

Based on this statute the city has no authority to set the special speed limits or place flashing lights at school entrances and exits to and from state controlled access highways. The city or county school system should check with the Tennessee Department of Transportation regarding these school zones and lights.

Please feel free to contact me if I can answer any further questions regarding this matter.

Sincerely,

Todd Moore
MTAS Legal Consultant

TM